Yes, it’s that time again, the weekend, and time to review the best new movies and television shows added online this week, to Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. And there are some exciting new adds this week, so let’s get started!
Hulu has some big adds this week, like it’s inhouse movie The Valet, a 2022 comedy. Eugenio Derbez stars as Antonio, here, a down and out valet, who upon crashing into a parked car in front of superstar Olivia, played by Samara Weaving, is enlisted to act as her boyfriend, to cover her affair with a married man. Max Greenfield plays that billionaire boyfriend, Vincent Royce, while Betsy Brandt plays his suspicious wife, Kathryn. Ravi Patel, John Pirruccello, Carmen Salinas, Marisol Nichols and Tiana Okoye also star, while Richard Wong directs. And this is based on the 2006 French comedy of the same name. And you may think you’ve seen this story already, but the cast and production make it so much fun. And so, it gets a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Randy Myers of the San Jose Mercury News says “Hulu successfully tweaks a 2006 French comedy few have seen and gives it more meaning.” I’m watching. But if you want something award-winning and more cerebral, Hulu also has Sundown, the 2021 drama. Famed writer-director Michel Franco(New Order) gives us a disturbing character study of a very rich man, Neil, played by Tim Roth, who travels to Acapulco with his family, including his sister Alice (Charlotte Gainsbourg!, but when an emergency takes place, and everyone else flies home to Great Britain, Neil contrives an excuse to stay where he is. He then stays with a woman, Bernice (Iazua Larios) and her unseemly friends, never showing any emotion, or repulsion for the violence that surrounds him in the ‘murder capitol of the world.’ Henry Goodman, Monica del Carmen, Samuel Bottomley and Albertine Kotting McMillan also star, and Tim Roth served as a producer on this film, as well. It was nominated for numerous awards in 2021, including the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, and went on to win the Silver Star at the El Gouna Film Festival. And it gets a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Michael O’Sullivan of the Washington Post said its “at its most engrossing as an individual portrait, even if its inscrutable subject is a person to whom virtually no (sane) viewer will relate.” Watch if you dare, it’s a bit to upsetting for me. Hulu has also added the 2022 New York Times documentary Elon Musk’s Crash Course. Another in it’s The New York Times Presents series, this doc focuses mainly on the troubles at Tesla, Musk’s car company, and it’s promise of it’s auto-pilot capabilities, that just haven’t panned out. It looks especially at the 2016 death of Josh Brown, a fan using his Tesla’s Autopilot when he was hit head -on by a tractor-trailer. The federal investigation that followed was pressured by Musk to come to an end, and resulted in saying the driver still should have been paying attention…which kind of misses the point of any Autopilot. Former employees add quite a bit here, saying the dishonesty prevailed with Musk, as well as a penchant for unpredictability, with the billionaire changing his position over night. And this series gets a 6.5/10 on IMDb. And Eric Deggan of NPR writes “Elon Musk’s Crash Course shows the tragic cost of his leadership.” I’m definitely tuning in. And finally, Hulu has the new series Conversations with Friends, based on the 2017 novel by Sally Rooney(!). Brought to us by the same team that created last year’s hit Normal People, this show focuses on two college students(and former girlfriends) in Dublin, Frances, played by Alison Oliver, and Bobbi, played by Sasha Lane. When The pair are invited out by an impressive local author, Melissa Baines (Jemima Kirke), they meet her actor husband, Nick(Joe Alwyn), too. And when Frances begins an affair with the married man, Bobbi is attracted by Melissa. But are the ill-advised affairs dooming their friendship? Alex Murphy, Justine Mitchell, Tommy Tiernan, Tadhg Murphy and Sallay Garnett also star, and there are 12 episodes now available for streaming. But, no, this isn’t as well received as Normal People, and it gets only a 64% on Rotten Tomatoes. Still, Wenlei Ma of News.com.au says though it “doesn’t have the depth of Rooney’s penetrating writing, yet each half-hour instalment easily rolls into the next with few distinguishing hallmarks of episodic storytelling, lulling you into a bingewatching complacency.” You decide.
Netflix has surprisingly few big adds this week, but there are some gems still to be found, like The G Word with Adam Conover, a 2022 limited series. Here, Adam Conover(Adam ruins Everything!) takes us on a tour of government and how it works, both for the good and for the bad, with amazing cameos from people like Barack Obama(!) in episode 1, and Penn & Teller, and others, in later episodes. This series is based on the important book by Michael Lewis(Moneyball, The Big Short),The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy, and is fascinating and informative. Nicole Randall Johnson, James Austin Johnson, Carol Herman, Becky Robinson and Carlos Alazraqui also star, and there are 6 episodes available for bingeing now. And it gets a 6.3/10 on IMDb. Nell Minnow of RogerEbert.com writes “we don’t believe in government, it dies. We cannot believe in it if we do not understand it, and The G Word‘s depictions of the best and worst of government are a welcome first step.” I agree. School should have been this much fun. I’m definitely watching. Netflix also has Welcome to Eden, a 2022 Spanish sci-fi thriller series. Here, some teens from Barcelona get invited to a super party, with plenty of drinking and sex, but stumble upon some more horrible aspects like murder, and 5 find themselves unable to leave, picked for an elite group. Given a Blue Eden drink, secretly spiked, they find themselves taken to the compound of the party’s host, Astrid(Amaia Salamanca), with no idea what her intentions are, or how they can escape. Amaia Aberasturi, Ana Mena, Albert Baró, Belinda Peregrín, Diego Garisa and Guillermo Pfening also star, and there are 8 episodes available for streaming now. And this series gets an 80% on Rotten Tomatoes, but remember it’s YA, and definitely a little out there. But Vicky Jessop of the London Evening Standard says “if you sit back and don’t think about it too hard, Welcome to Eden is classic binge material. The whole show has a dreamy, hypnotic, creepy feel to it, which makes it easy to devour one episode after another late into the night.” You decide. Netflix has also added Toscana, a 2022 Danish romantic comedy. But this is not your average romcom, with comedian Anders Matthesen starring as Theo, an unhappy but famous chef with definite anger issues, who inherits a restaurant from his estranged father, in Tuscany. He reluctantly goes, and finds himself confronting repressed memories, but also meeting Sophia, played by Cristiana Dell’Anna, a friend of his father’s. Ghita Nørby stars as Inge, and Andrea Bosca, Sebastian Jessen, Lærke Winther, Ari Alexander and Elva Garcia Seidler also star, while Mehdi Avaz directs. And this movie gets a 6.3/10 on IMDb, and Ameen of LeisureByte writes its “a sweet, light-hearted film and perfect for a quick watch. ” It’s on my list. Also new on Netflix is Wrong Side of the Tracks, a 2022 Spanish crime series. José Coronado plays war veteran Tirso Abantos, who has watched drug dealers take over his Entrevías neighborhood in Madrid, but when his granddaughter Irene, played by Nona Sobo, gets mixed up with drugs, along with her boyfriend, Nelson (Felipe Londoño), he can’t tolerate it any more. He becomes determined to protect Irene from her neglectful mother, Jimena (Maria Molins), and from the drug dealers who think she stolen from them. Luis Zahera, Franky Martin, Laura Ramos, Manuel Tallafé, Itziar Atienza and Manolo Caro also star, and there are 8 episodes available for viewing now. But beware, this is a explicitly violent show, with adult issues openly discussed. But the acting is exemplary, and this series gets a 6.6/10 on IMDb. Joel Keller of the Decider says to stream it , adding it “has a layered story that’s bolstered by a lead performance from Coronado that makes you actually root for the most bitterly caustic character on the whole show.” It’s on my list. And, finally, Netflix has added RRR, a 2022 Indian drama. This takes place in 1920’s India, still under the yoke of British Imperialism and tells the tale of two great freedom fighters Komaram Bheem and Alluri Sitarama Raju, played by N.T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan. Bheem is a warrior from the Gond tribe, while Raju is a cop, disrespected by his white superiors. Bheem heads to Delhi to rescue a Gond girl enslaved by a sadistic British governor, and Raju is sent to apprehend him, but soon, they team up and become best friends. Olivia Morris, Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhatt, Shriya Saran and Samuthirakani also star, and S.S. Rajamouli(Baahubali series) directs. And this over-the-top epic gets an 86% on Rotten Tomatoes, and an 8.3/10 on IMDb. Nicolas Rapold of the New York Times wrote that “scenes of glorious excess make the screen hum with energy in the latest feature from S.S. Rajamouli, the director of the Baahubali blockbusters.” And I’m watching.
Amazon has an exciting add with Night Sky, a 2022 sci-fi series. Sissy Spacek(!) stars as Irene York, who, along with he husband Franklin(J.K. Simmons!), live a secluded life in a quiet neighborhood after a tragic loss, with none of their neighbors realizing the Yorks have a portal to another world, in their backyard. But as their nosy neighbor Byron (Adam Bartley) investigates, the couple find a mysterious young man, Jude (Chai Hansen), in need of help, on the planet. Julieta Zylberberg, Kiah McKirnan, Rocio Hernandez, Cass Buggé and Beth Lacke also star, and this series gets a 7.3/10(!) on IMDb. Brian Lowry of CNN writes “thanks to Spacek and Simmons, the show proves initially worthwhile despite being its meandering pace. For now, that tandem makes it worth watching the “Sky.”” I agree, and I’m tuning in. But Amazon also has Bell Bottom, a 2022 Indian mystery/thriller series. This tells the true story of the rash of airplane hijackings in India in the 80‘s and the first covert overseas action by India using Bell Bottom, a RAW agent Anshul Malhotra (played by Akshay Kumar). He sets out to save 210 passengers held hostage in Pakistan, while catching the hijackers, as well. Lara Dutta plays Indira Gandhi amazingly well, and Dolly Ahluwalia, Huma Qureshi, Vaani Kapoor and Qais Khan also star, while Ranjit M Tewari directs. And this film was nominated for numerous awards earlier this year, including Best Actor in a Supporting Role female for Lara Dutta at the Awards of the International Indian Film Academy, and Dutta went on to win Best Supporting Actress at the Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival. And it gets a 6.3/10 on IMDb, and Robert Daniels of the New York Times recommends it for “an exciting Indian take on the spy film genre.” Its on my list. And, finally, Amazon has Troppo, a 2022 Australian mystery series, available on Freevee(IMDb) channel. Adapted from the book Crimson Lake by Candice Fox, this takes place in torrid north Queensland, where people seem to be going crazy and acting troppo, or driven mad by the tropical heat. So disgraced cop, Ted Conkaffey (American actor Thomas Jane) is talked into investigating a disappearance with ex con and now investigator/tattoo artist, Amanda Pharrell(Nicole Chamoun). But there’s a lot of craziness going on. David Lyons, Sun Park, Yerin Ha, Thomas Weatherall and Radha Mitchell(!) also star, and there are 8 episodes available to gorge on now. And this show has a wonderfully inclusive and varied cast. And it gets a stunning 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Tessa Smith of Mama’s Geeky calls it a “completely captivating mystery from beginning to end. Filled with twists and turns, this series is an easy obsession.” I’m definitely watching.
So sit back and binge this weekend, on classics, old and new, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!